The FEMA Camps Will Be in NFL Stadiums!

Okay, I’ve chronicled some seriously unhinged rants on this blog over the last 14 years, but this one make take the cake. Sheila Zilinsky, a Christian right fringe figure popular with the Dave Daubenmire set, says that the NFL protests are paving the way for those infamous FEMA concentration camps. I told you the NFL []

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Bipartisan Bills Submitted to Prevent Trump from Firing Mueller

Another very interesting development. A bipartisan group of senators have submitted two similar bills that would likely prevent Trump from firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, something he is clearly just dying to do. The bills would require judicial review of any such decision. Republican and Democratic senators introduced two pieces of legislation on Thursday seeking [Read More…]

Eating Chocolate, A Little Each Week, May Lower The Risk Of A Heart Flutter

Listen to the story on All Things Considered:

https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/atc/2017/05/20170524_atc_eating_chocolate_-_a_little_each_week_-_can_lower_risk_of_a_fluttery_heart.mp3

There’s a rich body of evidence that links chocolate to heart health.

Now comes a new study that finds people who consume small amounts of chocolate each week have a lower risk of developing atrial fibrillation, a heart condition characterized by a rapid or irregular heartbeat.

The rate of atrial fibrillation was 20 percent lower for people consuming two to six servings [of chocolate] per week compared with people who ate chocolate less than once per month, explains study author Elizabeth Mostofsky, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The findings are published in the journal BMJ Heart.

Atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib, can increase the risk of heart failure, stroke and cognitive impairment. It affects over 33 million people around the globe, and an estimated 25 percent of adults will develop the condition during their lifetime, according to an editorial published alongside the paper.

To assess how chocolate consumption can influence the risk of AFib, Mostofsky and her collaborators analyzed data from a Danish study the includes 55,000 people. All of the participants had completed detailed questionnaires about their lifestyles, everything from exercise habits to what they ate and drank, including how much chocolate they consumed.

These people were followed over time, explains Mostofsky. So we were able to identify all of the diagnoses of atrial fibrillation.

As we’ve reported, prior studies have found that habitual chocolate eaters seem to have lower risks of heart disease. Researchers have found that the compounds in cocoa, known as polyphenols, can improve vascular health by increasing blood flow. Cocoa compounds may also help suppress inflammation.

The rule of thumb is that dark chocolate is a better choice than milk chocolate, since dark chocolate typically contains more cocoa solids.

Many people in Denmark, where the study took place, typically consume milk chocolate. So Mostofsky says she wasn’t sure she’d find such a significant reduction in risk.

We were pleasantly surprised that – despite the fact that most of the chocolate may have [had] relatively low cocoa concentrations – we were still able to see robust findings, she says.

Now, these findings are not the green light to add lots of candy bars to your diet. Candy comes with lots of sugar and packs in calories, too. So – though this may seem obvious – moderation is key.

If you’re a chocolate lover, eat a nice, one-ounce piece of chocolate, says Tom Sherman, a professor at the Georgetown University Medical Center, who was not involved in the study.

The reduction in AFib was highest for people who consumed two to 6 servings of chocolate a week. But people who consumed just one serving a week had a reduced risk of the condition as well.

This study is not the final word on how chocolate consumption may influence heart health. And it’s possible that the reduction in AFib risk found in the chocolate eaters could be explained by other factors, too.

For instance, the accompanying editorial points out that the chocolate eaters in the study had less hypertension, less diabetes and lower blood pressure. Also, the chocolate eaters had higher levels of education, which is often associated with improved health status.

But the editorial concludes that regardless of these limitations, the findings are interesting and warrant further consideration.

Indeed, lots of researchers are involved in nailing down the potential health benefits of cocoa. As we’ve reported, scientists are now studying whether a chocolate pill made of cocoa extract can boost health.

Copyright 2017 NPR.

Do You Need a Crown or a Veneer?

Would like to know the benefits that dental sealants can offer? Did you know that dental sealants are safe for almost any age beginning at six when a child’s first set of molars begin to grow in? Dental sealants work by attaching directly to your tooth enamel for an additional layer of protection.

A dental sealant can lower your risk of tooth decay in your wonderful set of molars by 80%. Cavities work by burrowing through tooth enamel until the hole reaches your root. Sealants stop the decay in its tracks and resist even the most harmful types of decay including acids that can eat through our enamel. Sealants last up to a decade and can easily be repaired or reapplied as necessary.

Children are three times less likely to develop cavities if they have sealants in place. They are proven safe and can be used for multiple teeth. Sealants can protect your child’s teeth safely and efficiently without sacrificing their smile’s aesthetics.

Don’t delay in visiting our dental team. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Ron Hernandez and our team at our dentist office in Fremont, California, please call us at 510-248-4847. Let us help you with all your oral health care needs.

Let’s Get Healthy: Green Chicken and Veggie Curry

I’m making a real effort to eat healthier in 2017: more salads, more veggies, more fruit, and less sugar and overly-processed foods. Stir-fry, lightened up curries, and roasted just-about-anything have made their way into my kitchen in a big way. Anything I can do to get more vegetables and lean proteins on the table is pretty alright with me.

This Thai-inspired curry is a huge family favorite and it is packed with both flavor and plenty of good stuff. In fact, it’s one of my 5-year-old daughter’s most-requested meals. It’s honestly not hard to make, and I’ve kept it low on the spice-o-meter so that she can better enjoy it (although she does like a bit of spice if I don’t mention it before serving it). If you want to amp it up, just throw a few Thai chilies or a jalapeño into the blender with everything else.

I usually make this with red bell pepper and green beans, but sugar snap peas, fresh peas, broccoli florets, and julienned zucchini would all work well. Just adjust the cooking time until they are tender. You can also easily swap out chicken breast for the thighs, just use skinless bone-in breasts, and simmer them gently and only until they are cooked through to avoid dry chicken meat. For a veggie version, just leave out the chicken and swap 2 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce for the fish sauce; add cubes of tofu with the veggies and you won’t need to simmer it nearly as long.

There are numerous Thai curry pastes out there. You can make your own, but as a working parent I honestly just don’t have time to do that. My two favorite brands are Mae Ploy and Maesri, so if you can seek those out, by all means do. Serve this over steamed brown rice (or white rice if you want to keep it a bit more classic) or just on its own.

Green Chicken Curry

Green Chicken Curry (Wendy Goodfriend)

Recipe: Green Chicken and Veggie Curry

Makes 6 servings

    Ingredients:

  • 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for garnishing
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons green curry paste
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 6 or 7 thighs)
  • 1 (13 1/2-ounce) can light or regular coconut milk, well shaken
  • 1/2 pound green beans or sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin 1-inch strips
  • 4 green onions, trimmed and finely sliced
  • Steamed rice, for serving
Trim and cut green beans into 1-inch lengths.

Trim and cut green beans into 1-inch lengths. (Wendy Goodfriend)
Seed and cut red bell pepper into thin 1-inch strips.

Seed and cut red bell pepper into thin 1-inch strips. (Wendy Goodfriend)

    Instructions:

  1. In a blender or in the bowl of a food processor, combine the yellow onion, garlic, chicken broth, fish sauce, ¼ cup of the cilantro, brown sugar, curry paste, lime zest and juice. Process until smooth.
  2. In a blender or in the bowl of a food processor, combine the yellow onion, garlic, chicken broth, fish sauce, ¼ cup of the cilantro, brown sugar, curry paste, lime zest and juice. Process until smooth.

    In a blender or in the bowl of a food processor, combine the yellow onion, garlic, chicken broth, fish sauce, ¼ cup of the cilantro, brown sugar, curry paste, lime zest and juice. Process until smooth. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  3. Salt the chicken, then add to a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Pour the curry sauce over the top, submerging the chicken pieces. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover partially, and simmer until the chicken is very tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Salt the chicken, then add to a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Pour the curry sauce over the top, submerging the chicken pieces.

    Salt the chicken, then add to a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Pour the curry sauce over the top, submerging the chicken pieces. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Bring to a low boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low.

    Bring to a low boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Cover partially and simmer until the chicken is very tender, about 20 minutes.

    Cover partially and simmer until the chicken is very tender, about 20 minutes. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate or cutting board. Add the coconut milk, green beans, bell pepper, and green onions to the saucepan. Simmer until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a cutting board or plate.

    Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a cutting board or plate. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Add the coconut milk, green beans, bell pepper, and green onions to the saucepan.

    Add the coconut milk, green beans, bell pepper, and green onions to the saucepan. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Simmer until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes.

    Simmer until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  7. Meanwhile, shred the chicken, discarding any gristle or fat. When the vegetables are tender, return the chicken to the pot, simmering gently until it is warmed through.
  8. Meanwhile, shred the chicken, discarding any gristle or fat.

    Meanwhile, shred the chicken, discarding any gristle or fat. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    When the vegetables are tender, return the chicken to the pot.

    When the vegetables are tender, return the chicken to the pot. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Simmer gently until the curry is warmed through.

    Simmer gently until the curry is warmed through. (Wendy Goodfriend)
  9. Serve over steamed rice, garnished with the remaining cilantro.
  10. Serve over steamed rice.

    Serve over steamed rice. (Wendy Goodfriend)
    Garnish with the remaining cilantro and serve.

    Garnish with the remaining cilantro and serve. (Wendy Goodfriend)